Should This Kid Quit His Job To Spend His Parents’ Money?

This conundrum brought to you by Quora thread and a #hottip from Logan Sachon: Should I continue to work if my parents are worth hundreds of millions of dollars?

I’m 25 years old. I was raised as a member of the middle class. My parents do not come from wealth, and we were not at all wealthy (by Silicon Valley standards) when they were raising me. My parents ended up starting a couple of companies around when I went to college, and now their net worth is in the (low) hundreds of millions. In the meanwhile, I went off to college, studied computer science, and got a job as a software engineer at a very successful tech company. Although my parents funded my education, that was the extent of their assistance…My yearly salary is a very healthy 150k a year, and a lot of my peers think that I’m sitting pretty. The problem for me is, I know that my time is my most valuable asset.

Although my job is prestigious to some, it involves performing very menial tasks on things that I really don’t care about. Yes, if I didn’t have extremely wealthy parents, I would be plotting my life strategy very differently. But the fact is, I do…I just don’t see the point in working as a foot soldier in a giant corporation just to simulate a lifestyle that, until recently, was all my parents and peers knew. I feel like I should be taking advantage of this unique situation and utilizing my finite time in my 20s.

I try and broach this subject with my parents, but it is to no avail. They have very middle class values, and it seems foreign to them that I would want to quit such a great job and “waste” all of my time. They’re scared I will become a loser, an archetypal trust-fund baby.

Read the whole thing on Quora!

Some more details:

- he doesn’t want to stop “working” but wants to escape the “Silicon Valley grind” (…)
- wants to pursue a career in the arts, or travel for a year, or start his own company
- his parents are resistant to hiring him at their company, via nepotism
- he has a trust but wouldn’t have access to it for many years

I am not one to extol the virtues of work for work’s sake, although I think working makes many if not most people happy and fulfilled. I think this guy makes a ton of money for his age already, his parents’ money aside, although his parents’ money is an extreme and undeniable form of security and privilege.

Save your own money, dude, and travel around the world for a year. You clearly have marketable skills, you can take a year off and go back to what you were doing before. Or apply for a job in the arts, plenty of people do that without hundreds of millions of dollars. If you want to start a company, do it and ask your parents if they want to invest.

Take a risk knowing that yes, your parents will probably bail you out if you fail miserably. Appreciate that, but stop fantasizing about using it, or about ‘leveraging’ it to make your own hundreds of millions. Life *is* short, time is your most valuable asset, though to you and you alone. You are 25, the world doesn’t really care what you do. Remember that there is a middle ground between the “Silicon Valley grind” — more commonly known as “having a job” and a cushy one at that — and asking your parents for money. You’re actually in an absurdly good position, thanks in no small part to all the privileges your parents afforded you and the fact that they encouraged you to gain your own skills.

I would try to forget about those hundreds of millions of dollars, low as they might be, and focus on what you want and how you’ll get it, knowing you will basically be FINE no matter what happens. You bastard.

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19 Comments / Post A Comment

That guy should probably just hire me to fight him. I’m not particularly good at fighting, but the idea of punching rich people kind of appeals to me, and he could totally afford my fighting-rich-guys fees.

peutetre (#2,641)

It also kind of sounds like his parents don’t have any plans of letting him live off of their money. So what’s the conundrum? Quit and hope his parents bail him out anyway?

sony_b (#225)

@peutetre Yeah, this is what I see. Just because his parents are rich doesn’t mean a) they’re going to stay that way or b) they’re going to pass anything through to him.

Stina (#686)

@sony_b I even did some homework for my response and found that certain trusts are irrevocable but very, very rare. So it’s safe to assume that 1. His trust is the revocable kind and 2. Given their dislike of laziness and nepotism it’s possible that they could revoke it.

Paraphrased quote attributed to Warren Buffett: Give your kids enough so that they can do anything but not so much that they can do nothing.

gyip (#4,192)

I’m kind of impressed by the parents.

I also thought it was hilarious to mention it was the LOW hundreds of millions of dollars. Please, that’s totally different.

I’m impressed that his parents are sticking to their guns. If you want to quit your job, use your own savings. You should have plenty to live on for a year given that $150k salary.

Also see #9 here: http://the-toast.net/2014/04/17/lessons-learned-therapist/

Unless Silicon Valley is so out of touch with reality that their janitors are now making 150k, I truly doubt anyone making 150k in Silicon Valley is performing “menial” tasks.

jennonthego (#5,366)

@forget it i quit Yeah, I think he’s confusing “performing menial tasks” with “work.” Just because I love my job doesn’t mean I love every single task I complete every day. But it all has to be done.

WhyHelloThere (#1,398)

I think it’s incredibly risky to plan your life around the assumption that you’ll inherit money. What if your parents lose their money? What if they decide to donate it all to a cat sanctuary? What if they live to be 120? Much better to live your life as if you were on your own and then enjoy the money if and when it ever comes. And yeah, on $150,000 a year, you should be able to save up enough money to travel for a while without their help.

jennonthego (#5,366)

I’m not entirely sure what this kid’s conundrum is. I’d love to take a year off and travel, but I have to work to pay the bills. (Of course I make 1/3 what he pulls down, also frequently “performing very menial tasks on things that I really don’t care about.”)

I would think that making $150K, he’d be able to save enough money to take a year off or go slum it as an actor or whatever. But if he wants to live the rich kid lifestyle without working and his parents aren’t in on that, well, I guess he’s out of luck. You don’t get to have everything you want, even if your parents are hundred millionaires, I guess.

Surprised it took him this long to figure out that life’s not fair. Hope he’s able to figure out a way to make his 20s livable on $150K a year.

Lily Rowan (#70)

Like other people have said: He can just do all the things he says he wants to do now, regardless of his parents’ net worth. I just met someone in her 20s who took a several month leave from her management consulting job to volunteer in the developing world. It’s not like you can’t do that kind of thing on $150K a year!

EvanDeSimone (#2,101)

I came into this ready to say screw it. My default position is that American culture tends to glorify work and minimize the importance of a personal life so if someone can escape that treadmill they should do it without remorse. However, it doesn’t seem like his parents are very inclined to facilitate this choice. How can he be sure, given his parents resistance to nepotism and “middle class worth ethic” that they won’t leave all of their money to charity. They seem pretty adamant that he should continue working, if he wants to stop or change careers that sounds totally viable but he should make that calculation without factoring in his parents money since that doesn’t seem to be guaranteed.

ThatJenn (#916)

@EvanDeSimone Yeah, I really didn’t see anything that indicated that he would have access to money to support himself during that time, if he were to quit working and do something “more interesting.” He does say he has a trust fund that will come to him in the future, and if that makes him feel like he has a little flexibility to take a risk that might mean, for instance, that he won’t contribute as much to retirement as he’d like but can still support himself on his savings from his job, that’s cool I guesssss? But it doesn’t really allow him to completely give up on having an income forever.

EvanDeSimone (#2,101)

@ThatJenn I’m sort of curious how his parents would react if he did decide to leave his job without their support. If he’s relying on that trust fund his parents could easily rescind that.

Heather F G (#6,074)

If one is already making $150K at 25, retiring early is not a wackjob idea, right? I’m probably never going to retire so I can’t even contemplate that possibility. But if you could, then you would certainly have all the time in the world…

Of course, this might be the “planning my life differently” the question-asker would be contemplating were it not for those dang low-hundreds of millions of dollars of his parents’ getting his hopes up and getting in the way.

cjm (#3,397)

@Heather Yes. You’d have to NOT spend all $150,000 every year though. Assuming $150,000 is gross, he’s taking home about $100,000 “net.” If he lived on $50,000, and saved $50,000 he could retire in about 17 years, and continue to have about $50,000 a year in investment income from the savings. I know he lives in San Fran, but I am pretty sure there are single people living there, with no student loan debt, who somehow suffer through on $50,000. (Since that is about the average per capita income.) However, if that is just too hard, he could live on $70,000 (The average San Francisco Household income) and save 30,000 and retire in 28 years, and continue to live on $70,000 in perpetuity.

Of course, if post-retirement, he was going to work making 12 or 24k a year, or live on just 25 or 30K, he could do it much sooner.

RiffRandell (#4,774)

^^ what they said

Heather F G (#6,074)

@RiffRandell And that’s even assuming this person never gets a raise or promotion or moves to a better paying position at a different company over the course of a couple of decades! @cjm so basically, all he has to do is live like an average 25 year old…

DebtOrAlive (#5,233)

“Yes, if I didn’t have extremely wealthy parents (who gave me carte blanche to spend their wealth), I would be plotting my life strategy very differently. But the fact is, I do…”

…But the fact is, you don’t. (Hi parents who funded college for his smug ass and are trying–and maybe failing–to instill the same qualities of work and delayed gratification that maybe contributed to them having low (lawl) hundreds of millions! ::waves::)

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